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Over 30 Years For Chance To Clear Name 2011-08-21

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Glasgow, Scotland.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A man locked up for the armed robbery of a postal van is still fighting to clear his name almost 30 years after he was convicted.

Mr. William Beck, 50, from Glasgow, spent four years in prison after a jury found him guilty of the robbery involving a hammer in Livingston, West Lothian, in 1981-12, when around 21000 GBP in cash was stolen from two postal workers. But the father of two has always maintained that he was 40 miles away in Glasgow when the incident took place.

He claims his conviction in 1982-03, when he was 21, was based almost entirely on ‘unreliable’ eyewitness identification, and says he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Beck claims only two of the five witnesses identified him in an identity parade. The other three are said to have picked out a volunteer.

Leave to appeal the conviction was refused in 1982 after his defence lawyer is alleged to have said he had no grounds for appeal.

Mr Beck claims his defence team called none of his witnesses during the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, giving him ‘no chance’. He said:

‘I had a number of people who had seen me in Glasgow that day.: my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was called and she gave evidence that I had been with her all day, but when it came down to it, the jury had to decide whether or not to believe us, even though I know there were more people who could have been called on my behalf.

‘I sacked the defence team immediately after the trial; they didn’t try to prepare anything on my behalf, they gave me no chance.’

Mr Beck, who lives with his wife Louise in the Dennistoun area of the city, added:

‘All I want is to be allowed an appeal.

‘I just want to clear my name; I did not commit that robbery, and it is something that has now taken over my whole adult life.

‘I just want a chance to prove my innocence.’

The University of Bristol Innocence Project has taken on Mr Beck’s case and has submitted a response on his behalf following two rejections by The Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCCRC) to review his case. The SCCRS is an independent public body set up to review alleged miscarriages of justice.




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